The plot to replace Obaseki thickens, secret strategem uncovered

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It is no rumour that Secretary to the Edo State Government (SSG) and former leader of the hibernating Edo In Safe Hands group, Barr Osarodion Ogie, has his eyes on the seat that Obaseki currently occupies.

The first choice of Adams Oshiomhole when he was governor of Edo State was Osarodion Ogie but for the pressures mounted by a section of the media that showed that Ogie was not clearly a native of Edo State, allegedly from Delta State.

That forces Oshiomhole to go for his reluctant alternative, Godwin Obaseki, who’s identity was also traced Delta State. But for Obaseki, his family is well known and entrenched in Benin Kingdom that any historical arguments didn’t hold much water against him.

Since Obaseki was able to wiggle his way through to become Edo State Governor, Ogie has continued to keep his eyes on the seat of the governor, apparently desperate to sit on it because 2020 seems his best chance to clinch the position which may be zoned out of Edo South by 2024.

Consequently, a synergy seems to be forming between Ogie’s Edo In Safe Hands and a new underground political struxture comprising of majority of the elected Chairman of LGAs and party leadership under the teleguide of Hon Philp Shiabu, the Deputy Governor of Edo State.

Political watchers predict that both personages want to be governor and deputy governor in the next electoral dispensation. That time, a replay of the Oshiomhole/Oyegun conflict is expected to happen in what pundits describe as “Obaseki/Ogie conflict unless Obaseki takes decisive preemptive steps.

A source inside the APC confided in URHOKPOTA REPORTERS that “there is truly a plot to truncate Governor Obaseki’s re-election bid by 2020. It is true and it would succeed if Obaseki continues to leave political leadership in the hands of his potential enemy – the former governor who does not want to retire honourably”

Various political strategem have allegedly been mapped out to take over Edo State by 2020 and bring Mr Obaseki to his knees or make him take to his heels.

The first plot is for Adams Oshiomhole to become National Chairman of the APC. This, it is hoped, would fast track the emergence of Ogie over Obaseki.

To actualize this plot, former Governor Adams Oshiomhole has re-erected a synergy with disgruntled national leader of the APC, Bola Tinunu, to help remove Oyegun as the national chairman of the party at all cost and by all means so as to pave the way for Oshiomhole to step in as the national chairman of the party.

The second plot is what they termed Option B, which is to seize and rebuild the Edo APC structures around Oshiomhole and Shaibu being his eye. This would be a closely knit structures across the 18 LGA and the Edo State House of Assembly so that none of the Chairmen would fear removal or suspension by the Governor because a Bill is being prepared and would soon be passed to make the LGA Chairman not be removed by a Governor or the House of Assembly unless by the Councillors of the Ward. These Councillors are factored into this plan hence the Deputy Governor has been asked to close in on them and groom them to do his bidding should some Chairmen error.

The third plot, according our discreet informant, is to completely hijack the party at the state level. This is expected to be perfected at the imminent Wards, LGAs and State congresses of the party in June.

Option D, our source disclosed, is to get to the Women Wing of the party fully into the game plan, using the pretext that Obaseki is not “letting the money flow to them” to entice more women to key into the plan.

Few months ago, the deputy governor, Hon Philip Shiabu, through his wife, formed “Edo Women On The Move” a group set up to build the women wing structure of the party and tactically sideline the office of the First laLa of Edo State, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, who they accuse of not being a native, conveniently forgetting that Oshiomhole’s wife was not even a Nigerian yet no one contested her position during his tenure.

As a precursor to actualising this women dominance, the wife of the Deputy Governor, Mrs Shaibu, through her new Movement, nominated most of the women from Edo North District, who were appointed as Special Assistants (SAs) on Women Affairs to the Governor.

To further consolidate this Movement in the 18 LGAs, outside the Edo North Constituency, the wife of the deputy governor, Mrs Shaibu, did not consult either the office of the First Lady, Mrs Obaseki, the APC State Woman Leader, the Senatorial Woman Leader or any of the LGA woman, before making her recommendation for appointments of women.

After the March 3rd LGA Election, through her husband, Mrs Shiabu’s Movement tactfully embarked on suspicious ‘Thank You Tour” to the 18 LGA and cleverly inaugurated the Edo Women on the Move chapters in each of the 18 LGAs of Edo state, totally sidelining the wife of the governor.

The women movement, led by the wife of the deputy governor, has a representative in each of the wards of Edo State.

Option E, our reliable APC insider source narrated, is to expand the structural horizon of the deputy governor by compelling the governor to delegate more portfolio to the deputy governor. This it is hoped would increase the influence of the deputy governor and enable him to call the shots when the chips are down.

It would be remembered that the same Oshiomhole who now wants the deputy governor to be given increased responsibilities in government himself refused to allow his deputy even to act for once in his eight years.

The question that some Edo South politicians within APC are now asking is why is Oshiomhole not able to allow Edo South to evolve politically having her own independent heroes?

“Wetin Edo South do Oshiomhole, I nor know. Ehanire, him nor gree. Oyegun, him pull am down. Now na Obaseki him wan set up again? Na wetin! God nor go gree for am. Make him retire as Anenih don retire. E get as e go be, we go show am where we write everything put, him never sabi us.” a local party woman in an Oredo ward lamented.

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